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Originally published May 14 2008

Study: Drugs for Alzheimer’s Patients Do Harm Without Benefit

by Adam Miller

(NaturalNews) If you or a loved one is currently being treated for Alzheimer's disease, a new study from the U.K. shows that you may want to re-evaluate the current treatment being administered by medical doctors.

The study, which is titled A Randomised, Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial in Dementia Patients Continuing or Stopping Neuroleptics (The DART-AD Trial) and published in the Public Library of Science Medicine, found that drugs being used to control aggressive behavior in Alzheimer's sufferers are not helping, but harming patients.

Researchers looked at 165 Alzheimer's patients from four U.K. nursing homes to determine the effect of anti-psychotic medication (known as neuroleptics) on their condition. All of the subjects were currently being treated with neuroleptics, and they were divided in half for a twelve month evaluation. Half continued on their medication and the rest were administered placebos.

The study found that verbal acumen was stifled in those receiving medication, and there was no long-term benefit derived in those with mild to moderate symptoms. Verbal deterioration was recorded within only 6 months of commencing treatment. The researchers also found evidence that those taking neuroleptics suffered a higher death rate than the placebo group.

"It is very clear that even over a six-month period of treatment, there is no benefit from neuroleptics in treating the behavior in people with Alzheimer's disease when the symptoms are mild. For people with more severe behavioral symptoms, balancing the potential benefits against adverse effects is more difficult," said head researcher Dr. Clive Ballard.

Many experts are calling for an end to the use of anti-psychotics as a general treatment for mild behavioral disorders. "The overprescribing of antipsychotics to people with dementia is robbing people of their quality of life and is a serious breach of human rights," said Neil Hunt of the U.K. Alzheimer's Society. The U.K. Alzheimer Society has sponsored research showing that the use of neuroleptics in Alzheimer patients can be reduced by 50% through basic dementia training alone. Currently, over 60% of U.K. Alzheimer's sufferers are being 'treated' with neuroleptics.

About the author

Adam Miller is a student of life who has dedicated literally thousands of hours of personal research on top of formal institutional training in Dietetics to learn the secrets of achieving vibrant health and extended lifespan. His passion and dedication is in bringing the best ideas for self-empowerment through nutrition and nutraceuticals as well as alternative therapies, technology, and information to the public through various means.


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